The mind plays a vital role if not the most important role in your physical well being. Although diet, genetics and lifestyle can also play a pivotal part, it's the mind that regulates every cell in the body. Healthy states of mind bring about a healthy state in the body. How you feel can be determined by what you think and how you see yourself. As we age the body is always trying to achieve a state of homeostasis, that means the body always tries to maintain internal stability and a psychological equilibrium regardless of age or current health status. Environment become a key factor in aiding this process or throwing it off. Sugar, processed foods, chemicals, lack of exercise and stress all have a negative effect on the homeostasis process and that's when disease sets in. Most if not all diseases are a result of these environmental stresses. Even genetic factors may be thwarted off or slowed if we keep to a very holistic and natural diet and lifestyle.
It is for this very reason that I've chosen to practice Chinese martial arts. Fighting aside, (but not too far aside) Chinese martial such as Tai Chi and Kung Fu were created by not only Buddhist monks, Taoist priests, who mediated daily for hours and have very holistic lives but also many were Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctors or TCM. Wong Fei Hong and his father Wong Key Yin were both two of China's most famous Kung Fu masters during the late Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1912) and prominent Chinese doctors.
Qigong is the medicinal aspect of Chinese martial arts and a part of every form and exercise. It's combination of breath, balance and stretching that makes Chinese martial arts so effective as a health regiment as well. The focus and mindful awareness that is required to do any Chinese martial art is where the mind aspect comes into play. Put all these with the physical exertions that is required and you have a vary holistic health program that trains the breath, body, mind and spirit.
As some of you may know I've had Lyme's disease three times and I now deal with chronic Lyme's. If it were not for Kung Fu and Tai Chi, I might not be able to walk right now. Chinese martial arts has not only helped me overcome the difficulties of dealing with Lyme's, it has greatly helped the psychological factors of the disease, such as depression and anxiety. (As a native New Yorker those things were sort of built in, the Lyme's just made them word ). A long with regular meditation, I've been able to manage my Lyme's with little to no medication that can have horrible side effects as well financial ones.
Since the practice of Kung Fu and Tai Chi has been so effective for me in dealing with these issues, it is my mission to help as many people as possible to manage and even overcome many of the health related issues that we all deal with.
It's begins with the mind. How we see ourselves will determine how we will be and feel in our daily lives. It is very important to see yourself as healthy, vital and strong regardless of age or current heath status. We all have our issues and some or more or less severe than others. Some are easier or more difficult to deal with on a daily basis than others. But the one thing we all have in common is that or mind can be the most powerful medicine in our possession.
Daily mental exercise like visualizing your self healthy is as important as daily physical exercise. It determines every decision we we make. What foods to eat, what to watch on TV, what actions to take in day to day activities, ow we relate to other people, etc.. A healthy thinking person will make very different choices than one who sees themselves as ailing. It's our choice how to think and feel. We have the power how to see ourselves and how to be in that viewpoint. We can choose to happy, we choose to be angry and we choose to be sorrowful. The good news is, as human beings we have the power to choose at any given moment but we must have the awareness to be able to make that choice wisely and how to behave in that moment. Our mental state determines our actions and our choices, so lets choose good ones. I'm am by no means an expert at this and many times make the wrong choice but every time I make a mistake, it brings that much closer to being aware enough to do better the next time.
I hope and wish great health and vitality to all and hope that you choose to see yourself as a healthy and vital human being. It's not a panacea and no 'quick fix' but it's the beginning to a road of hard work and makes the hard work fun! That way it doesn't feel like work at all.
Peace, blessings and Happy New Year!